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Cotton is a soft, fluffy short staple fibre that grows in a ball around the cotton seed of the genus Gossypium of the mallow family.The fiber is almost pure cellulose, and can contain minor percentages of waxes, fats, pectins, and water. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds.
The plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, Egypt and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds.
The fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable, and durable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times; fragments of cotton fabric dated to the fifth millennium BC have been found in the Indus Valley civilization, as well as fabric remnants dated back to 4200 BC in Peru. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, and it is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today.
Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world’s arable land. India is the world’s largest producer of cotton. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years.Today, cotton is grown in many countries around the world, including the United States, India, China, and Uzbekistan, and is used in a wide range of products, from clothing and bedding to industrial goods. 
However, there are pros and cons of cotton production despite its widespread use due to concerns about the environmental impact of cotton cultivation and the labour practices, child labour and human rights issues in cotton-producing countries that have been pointed out for some time.


Cotton varieties

There are four main types of cotton, all of which have been cultivated by humans over a long period of time since ancient times:
・Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southern Florida (90% of world production)
・Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America (8% of world production)
・Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan (less than 2%)
・Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (less than 2%)
Hybrid varieties are also cultivated. The two New World cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World species were widely used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur naturally in colors of white, brown, pink and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have led many cotton-growing locations to ban the growing of colored cotton varieties.

Gossypium barbadense
Gossypium barbadense (gos-SIP-pee-um bar-ba-DEN-see) is one of several species of cotton. It is in the mallow family. It has been cultivated since antiquity, but has been especially prized since a form with particularly long fibers was developed in the 1800s. Other names associated with this species include Sea Island, Egyptian, Pima, and extra-long staple (ELS) cotton.The species is a tropical, frost-sensitive perennial that produces yellow flowers and has black seeds. It grows as a bush or small tree and yields cotton with unusually long, silky fibers.

G. barbadense originated in southwest Ecuador and northwest Peru. It is now cultivated around the world, including China, Egypt, Sudan, India, Australia, Peru, Israel, the southwestern United States, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It accounts for about 5% of the world’s cotton production.

・Gossypium hirsutum – 中米、メキシコ、カリブ海、フロリダ南部原産の陸上綿花(世界の生産量の90%)
・Gossypium barbadense – 超長綿として知られ、南米熱帯地方が原産(世界の生産量の8%)
・Gossypium arboreum – インド、パキスタン原産の木綿(2%未満)。
・Gossypium herbaceum – レバント綿、アフリカ南部とアラビア半島原産(2%未満)。

Gossypium barbadense (gos-SIP-pee-um bar-ba-DEN-see) は、綿花のいくつかの種のうちの一つである。アオイ科に属する。古代より栽培されていたが、1800年代に特に繊維の長いものが開発されて以来、特に珍重されている。別名、シーアイランド、エジプシャン、ピマ、エクストラロングステープル(ELS)コットンなどとも呼ばれています。霜に弱い熱帯性の多年草で、黄色い花を咲かせ、黒い種子をつける。潅木や小木として生育し、非常に長く絹のような繊維を持つ綿花が収穫されます。原産地はエクアドル南西部、ペルー北西部。現在では、中国、エジプト、スーダン、インド、オーストラリア、ペルー、イスラエル、米国南西部、タジキスタン、トルクメニスタン、ウズベキスタンなど、世界中で栽培されている。世界の綿花生産量の約5%を占めている。
The word “cotton” has Arabic origins, derived from the Arabic word قطن (qutn or qutun). This was the usual word for cotton in medieval Arabic. Marco Polo in chapter 2 in his book “Book of the Marvels of the World (Italian: Il Milione,”) describes a province he calls Khotan in Turkestan, today’s Xinjiang, where cotton was grown in abundance. The word entered the Romance languages in the mid-12th century, and English a century later. Cotton fabric was known to the ancient Romans as an import, but cotton was rare in the Romance-speaking lands until imports from the Arabic-speaking lands in the later medieval era at transformatively lowered prices.
late 13c., “white fibrous substance containing the seeds of the cotton plant,” from Old French coton (12c.), ultimately (via Provençal, Italian, or Old Spanish) from Arabic qutn, a word perhaps of Egyptian origin. Also ultimately from the Arabic word are Dutch katoen, German Kattun, Provençal coton, Italian cotone, Spanish algodon, Portuguese algodo. As “cloth made of cotton,” from early 15c. The meaning “the cotton plant” is from c. 1400. As an adjective, “made of cotton,” from 1550s. Cotton gin is recorded from 1794. Philip Miller of the Chelsea Physic Garden sent the first cotton seeds to American colony of Georgia in 1732.

コットンの語源はアラビア語で、قطن(qutnまたはqutun)が語源です。中世のアラビア語ではこれが通常の綿の意味でした。マルコ・ポーロは著書「東方見聞録(伊:Il Milione)」の第2章で、トルキスタン、現在の新疆ウイグル自治区のホータンと呼ぶ地方で綿花が豊富に栽培されていたと記述しています。この言葉は12世紀半ばにロマンス語にその1世紀後にはフランスを経由して英語にも変化していくことになります。綿織物は古代ローマ人にも輸入品として知られていましたが、中世後期にアラビア語圏から低価格のものが輸入されるまで、ロマンス語(主にラテン語)圏では綿花は珍重されていました。
13世紀後半、「綿花の種子を含む白い繊維状の物質」古フランス語のコトン(12世紀)から最終的には(プロヴァンス語、イタリア語、古スペイン語経由で)アラビア語のqutn、おそらくエジプト起源の言葉から派生しました。またオランダ語 katoen、ドイツ語 Kattun、プロヴァンス語 coton、イタリア語 cotone、スペイン語 algodon、ポルトガル語 algodo も最終的にはアラビア語から派生した言葉です。15世紀初頭から「綿でできた布」として。綿の植物」という意味は1400年頃からのもの。形容詞としての「綿で作られた」と表記され出したのは1550年代から。綿繰り機は1794年から記録されています。チェルシー・フィジック・ガーデンのフィリップ・ミラーが1732年にアメリカの植民地ジョージアに最初の綿花の種を送ったと記載されています。


5000 BCE: Cotton is cultivated and spun into cloth in the Indus Valley civilization in ancient India.
1000 BCE: Cotton is grown and used for clothing in ancient Egypt.
800 BCE: Cotton is grown and used in ancient Greece.
100 CE: The use of cotton spreads to the Roman Empire.
7th century: Arab traders introduce cotton to the Islamic world.
14th century: Cotton becomes an important export for the Muslim world, with cotton textiles being traded along the silk road and throughout the Mediterranean.
16th century: Spanish and Portuguese traders introduce cotton to the Americas.
1793: American inventor Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, greatly increasing the efficiency of cotton production.
19th century: Cotton becomes a major cash crop in the United States, with the growth of large-scale cotton plantations in the American South.
20th century: Cotton production spreads to other parts of the world, including India, China, and Uzbekistan.
Today: Cotton is one of the most widely used fibers in the world and is a major agricultural product in many countries. However, the environmental impact of cotton farming and concerns about labor practices remain controversial issues.

紀元前1000年 古代エジプトで綿花が栽培され、衣服として使用される。
紀元前800年 古代ギリシャで綿花が栽培され、使用される。
紀元前100年 ローマ帝国で綿花の使用が広まる。
7世紀 アラブの商人により、イスラム世界に綿花が伝えられる。
14世紀 綿花はイスラム世界の重要な輸出品となり、綿織物はシルクロードや地中海沿岸で取引されるようになる。
16世紀 スペインとポルトガルの商人により、アメリカ大陸に綿花がもたらされる。
1793: アメリカの発明家イーライ・ホイットニーが綿繰り機を発明し、綿花の生産効率を大幅に向上させる。
19世紀 アメリカ南部で大規模な綿花プランテーションが展開され、綿花が主要な換金作物となる。
20世紀 インド、中国、ウズベキスタンなど、世界各地に綿花生産が広がる。

Early history
South Asia
The earliest evidence of the use of cotton in the Old World, dated to 5500 BC and preserved in copper beads, has been found at the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh, at the foot of the Bolan Pass in ancient India, today in Balochistan Pakistan. Fragments of cotton textiles have been found at Mohenjo-daro and other sites of the Bronze Age Indus Valley civilization, and cotton may have been an important export from it.

“Farmers in the Indus valley were the first to spin and weave cotton. In 1929 archaeologists recovered fragments of cotton textiles at Mohenjo-Daro, in what is now Pakistan, dating to between 3250 and 2750 BCE. Cottonseeds founds at nearby Mehrgarh have been dated to 5000 BCE. Literary references further point to the ancient nature of the subcontinent’s cotton industry. The Vedic scriptures, composed between 1500 and 1200 BCE allude to cotton spinning and weaving”

現時点ではインダス川流域の農民が初めて綿花を紡ぎ織った とされています。1929年考古学者は現在のパキスタンにあるモヘンジョダロにて紀元前3250年から2750年にかけての綿織物の断片を発見。また近くのメアガルで発見された綿の種は紀元前5000年前後のものと推定されています。それとは別に綿花産業が古くから行われていたことは文献からもうかがうことができます。紀元前1500年から1200年にかけて書かれたヴェーダ聖典には綿花の紡績や織物について書き記されています。

The oldest cotton fabric has been found in Huaca Prieta in Peru, dated to about 6000 BCE. It is here that “Gossypium barbadense” is thought to have been domesticated at its earliest.
Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, Mexico, have been dated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged.More securely dated is the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico between around 3400 and 2300 BC.During this time, people between the Río Santiago and the Río Balsas grew, spun, wove, dyed, and sewed cotton. What they didn’t use themselves, they sent to their Aztec rulers as tribute, on the scale of ~116 million pounds annually.

In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense has been dated, from a find in Ancon, to c. 4200 BC,and was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the Norte Chico, Moche, and Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, and traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish. The Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it.

最古の綿織物はペルーのワカ・プリエタで発見され、紀元前6000年頃とされている。この地で”Gossypium barbadense” が最も早く家畜化されたと考えられている。

ペルーでは、在来種綿花”Gossypium barbadense”の栽培はアンコン遺跡での発見から紀元前4200年頃とされ、ノルテ・チコ、モチェ、ナスカなどの沿岸文化の発展するきっかけとなったと言われている。綿花は川上で栽培され後に網に加工、海岸沿いの漁村と取引され、それの見返りとして食料として魚が供給されるという循環であったと推測されている。16世紀初頭にメキシコやペルーにやってきたスペイン人は人々が綿花を栽培しその綿花で作られた衣服を着ていたと記録している。

Arabia / Macedonia
The Greeks and the Arabs were not familiar with cotton until the Wars of Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon), as his contemporary Megasthenes told Seleucus I Nicator of “there being trees on which wool grows” in “Indica”. This may be a reference to “tree cotton”, Gossypium arboreum, which is a native of the Indian subcontinent.
Cotton has been spun, woven and dyed and used as clothing for the people of ancient India since prehistoric times. At that time it was already being used as clothing by the peoples of ancient India, Egypt and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven with great skill in India and their use spread to the countries around the Mediterranean.
We are led to the same conclusion by the statements of Nearchus, the admiral whom Alexander the Great employed (327 B.C.) to descend the Indus, and to navigate tlie coast of Persia to the river Tigiis. From the interesting and obviously faithful narrative of this observant navigator, substantially preserved in Arrian’s History of Alexander, we learn that, ” the Indians wore linen garments, the substance whereof they were made growing upon trees; and this,” he says, “is indeed

ギリシャ人やアラブ人はマケドニアのアレクサンダー大王の東方遠征まで綿花になじみがありませんでした。同時代のメガステネスはセレウコス1世ニカトルに対し『インディカ』で「毛が生える木がある」と語っています。これはインド亜大陸原産の木綿”Gossypium arboreum”のことを指しているとされています。

Persian Empire / Iran
In Iran (Persia), the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era (5th century BC); however, there are few sources about the planting of cotton in pre-Islamic Iran. Cotton cultivation was common in Merv, Ray and Pars. In Persian poems, especially Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi Tusi’s Shahname, there are references to cotton (“panbe” in Persian). Marco Polo (13th century) refers to the major products of Persia, including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of the 17th century who visited Safavid Persia, spoke approvingly of the vast cotton farms of Persia.


Kingdom of Kush

Cotton (Gossypium herbaceum Linnaeus) may have been domesticated 5000 BC in eastern Sudan near the Middle Nile Basin region, where cotton cloth was being produced. Around the 4th century BC, the cultivation of cotton and the knowledge of its spinning and weaving in Meroë reached a high level. The export of textiles was one of the sources of wealth for Meroë. Ancient Nubia had a “culture of cotton” of sorts, evidenced by physical evidence of cotton processing tools and the presence of cattle in certain areas. Some researchers propose that cotton was important to the Nubian economy for its use in contact with the neighboring Egyptians. Aksumite King Ezana boasted in his inscription that he destroyed large cotton plantations in Meroë during his conquest of the region.

In the Meroitic Period (beginning 3rd century BCE), many cotton textiles have been recovered, preserved due to favorable arid conditions. Most of these fabric fragments come from Lower Nubia, and the cotton textiles account for 85% of the archaeological textiles from Classic/Late Meroitic sites. Due to these arid conditions, cotton, a plant that usually thrives moderate rainfall and richer soils, requires extra irrigation and labor in Sudanese climate conditions. Therefore, a great deal of resources would have been required, likely restricting its cultivation to the elite. In the first to third centuries CE, recovered cotton fragments all began to mirror the same style and production method, as seen from the direction of spun cotton and technique of weaving. Cotton textiles also appear in places of high regard, such as on funerary stelae and statues.

In the Meroitic Period (beginning 3rd century BCE), many cotton textiles have been recovered, preserved due to favorable arid conditions. Most of these fabric fragments come from Lower Nubia, and the cotton textiles account for 85% of the archaeological textiles from Classic/Late Meroitic sites. Due to these arid conditions, cotton, a plant that usually thrives moderate rainfall and richer soils, requires extra irrigation and labor in Sudanese climate conditions. Therefore, a great deal of resources would have been required, likely restricting its cultivation to the elite. In the first to third centuries CE, recovered cotton fragments all began to mirror the same style and production method, as seen from the direction of spun cotton and technique of weaving. Cotton textiles also appear in places of high regard, such as on funerary stelae and statues.

南エジプトからスーダンのナイル川近辺で栄えたクシュ王国。綿花 “Gossypium herbaceum Linnaeus”は紀元前5000年頃にスーダン東部のナイル川中流域付近で栽培化され綿布が生産されていたと考えられています。 前4世紀頃遷都したメロエ時代に綿花栽培とその紡織の知識が高い水準に達したとされています。織物の輸出はメロエの富の源泉の1つでした。古代ヌビアには一種の「綿花文化」があり綿花加工用具の物的証拠や特定の地域に牛が生息していたことなどがその証拠に当たるとされている。アクスム人のエザナ王は征服時にメロエの大規模な綿花農園を破壊したことを碑文で自慢しています。

遷都後のメロア期(前3世紀初頭)には乾燥した好条件により保存された綿織物が多数出土しています。これらの織物片の多くは下ヌビアから出土し古典期・後期メロア(メロエ)期の遺跡から出土する考古学的織物の85%を綿織物が占めます。この乾燥した条件は通常は適度な降雨と豊かな土壌で育つ植物である綿なのでスーダンの気候条件では特別な灌漑と労働を必要とすることになります。紀元1世紀から3世紀にかけて出土した綿花片は紡績綿の方向や織りの技法から見て同じスタイルと生産方法を反映しています。 綿織物は葬祭用の墓碑や像などの高い地位に値する物にも採用されていました。

Indian subcontinent
The latest archaeological discovery in Mehrgarh puts the dating of early cotton cultivation and the use of cotton to 5000 BCE. The Indus Valley civilization started cultivating cotton by 3000 BCE. Cotton was mentioned in Hindu hymns in 1500 BCE.Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, mentions Indian cotton in the 5th century BCE as “a wool exceeding in beauty and goodness that of sheep”, which suggests that the fiber was not yet known in Greece at the time. When Alexander the Great invaded India, his troops started wearing cotton clothes that were more comfortable than their previous woolen ones. Strabo, another Greek historian, mentioned the vividness of Indian fabrics, and Arrian told of Indian–Arab trade of cotton fabrics in 130 CE.
メアガルでの最新の考古学的発見では、初期の綿花栽培と綿花の使用の年代は紀元前5000年とされている。インダスバレー文明は紀元前3000年までに綿花栽培を開始し、紀元前1500年にはヒンドゥー教の讃歌に綿花が言及されている。古代ギリシャの歴史家ヘロドトスは紀元前5世紀にインドの綿花について「美しさと良さで羊の毛を超える」と言及しており、当時のギリシャではまだこの繊維は知られていなかったことが伺える。 アレクサンダー大王がインドに侵攻した際、彼の軍隊はそれまでの毛織物の服よりも快適である綿の服を着始めた。同じくギリシャの歴史家ストラボはインドの布の鮮やかさに触れ、アリウスは130年にインド・アラブ間で綿織物が取り引きされていると語っている。
Marco Polo says, that the women of Balashan (in Caubul) ” wear below their waists, in the manner of drawers, a kind of garment, in the making of which they employ, according to their means, a hundred, eighty, or sixty ells of fine cotton cloth, which they also gather and plait, in order to increase the apparent size of their hips ; those being accounted the most handsome who are the most bulky in that part.” of o-unpowder, before any other nation, should have re- mained without the cotton manufacture until the end of the thirteenth century, when it had flourished among their Indian neighbours probably three thousand years.
It appears, indeed, from Chinese history, that the cotton plant had been known in tlie country for many centuries before that time, but that it had only been cultivated in gardens, and manufactured as a rarity. We learn from other authority, that in the ninth century the inhabitants, from the prince to the peasant, were clothed in silks.* The facility with which the plant is propagated, the commercial intercourse which existed from the earliest times between India and China, and the suitableness of cotton clothes: to the climate, combine to render it wonderful that the manufacture should have been introduced at so late a period. The fact affords a powerful presumption, that China had long remained in a stationary condition. It was after the conquest of that empire by the Tartars, that the cotton plant first began to be cultivated for common use. A formidable resistance was made to the mtroduction of the new manufacture by the artisans engaged in fabricating woollens and silks : but in China, as elsewhere, the new art was found to be too valuable for its opponents to succeed in crushing it; the cheap- ness with which the raw material could be grown, and consequently the cloth fabricated, was an all-powerful recommendation; and about the year 1368 it triumphed over every resistance, and began to prevail throughout the empire.
During the Han dynasty (207 BC – 220 AD), cotton was cultivated in Yunnan province in southern China. Cotton cloth was brought from India around 57-75 of the Later Han Dynasty, and cotton seeds were introduced in the 10th century, initially for ornamental purposes.
ポロによると、(コーブルの)バラシャンの女性たちは “腰の下に、引き出しのような服を着ている。” “その服は、彼らの手段に応じて、100、80、または60エルの細かい綿布を使い、それを集めて編むことによって、腰の見た目を大きくする。” “その部分が最も大きい人は、最も美しいとみなされる” と述べている。 しかし、インドでは3000年前から綿花が盛んであったため、13世紀の終わりまで綿花を生産することなく過ごしていた。 中国の歴史によると、綿花はそれ以前から何世紀も前からこの国で知られていたが、庭で栽培され、希少品として製造されていたに過ぎなかったようである。植物の繁殖能力、インドと中国の間に古くから存在した商業的交流、綿の衣服がその気候に適していたことなどから、綿の製造がそれほど遅い時期に導入されたことは驚くべきことである。この事実は、中国が長い間定常状態にあったことを強力に立証するものである。綿花が初めて一般に栽培されるようになったのは、タルタル人がこの帝国を征服した後である。しかし、他の国と同様、中国でも、この新しい技術は価値が高すぎて、反対派はこれを押しつぶすことに成功したのである。
Middle Ages

Egyptians grew and spun cotton in the first seven centuries of the Christian era.
Handheld roller cotton gins had been used in India since the 6th century, and was then introduced to other countries from there. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, dual-roller gins appeared in India and China. The Indian version of the dual-roller gin was prevalent throughout the Mediterranean cotton trade by the 16th century. This mechanical device was, in some areas, driven by water power. The earliest clear illustrations of the spinning wheel come from the Islamic world in the eleventh century. The earliest unambiguous reference to a spinning wheel in India is dated to 1350, suggesting that the spinning wheel was likely introduced from Iran to India during the Delhi Sultanate.

エジプトではすでにキリスト教時代の7世紀には綿花を栽培し紡いでいました。 インドでは6世紀から手持ちのローラー式綿繰り機(cotton gin)が使われ始めており、そこから他国へも伝播していきました。12世紀から14世紀にかけてインドと中国に二本ローラー式の綿繰り機が登場しました。インド版二本ローラー式綿繰り機は、16世紀には地中海沿岸の綿花交易に広く普及していきました。この機械装置は地域によっては水力によって駆動に進化していきました。紡ぎ車がはっきりと描かれた最古の図は、11世紀のイスラム世界のものです。インドで紡ぎ車が登場するのは1350年でデリー・スルタン時代にイランからインドに伝わったと考えられています。
During the late medieval period, cotton became known as an imported fiber in northern Europe, without any knowledge of how it was derived, other than that it was a plant. Because Herodotus had written in his Histories, Book III, 106, that in India trees grew in the wild producing wool, it was assumed that the plant was a tree, rather than a shrub. This aspect is retained in the name for cotton in several Germanic languages, such as German Baumwolle, which translates as “tree wool” (Baum means “tree”; Wolle means “wool”). Noting its similarities to wool, people in the region could only imagine that cotton must be produced by plant-borne sheep. John Mandeville, writing in 1350, stated as fact that “There grew there [India] a wonderful tree which bore tiny lambs on the endes of its branches. These branches were so pliable that they bent down to allow the lambs to feed when they are hungry.” (See Vegetable Lamb of Tartary.)
The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary

Thomas Browne’s Pseudodoxia Epidemica named it as the Boramez.
In Ephraim Chambers’ Cyclopædia, Agnus scythicus was described as a kind of zoophyte, said to grow in Tartary, resembling the figure and structure of a lamb. It was also called Agnus Vegetabilis, Agnus Tartaricus and bore the reported endonyms of Borometz, Borametz and Boranetz.

In his book, The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (1887), Henry Lee describes the legendary lamb as believed to be both a true animal and a living plant. However, he states that some writers believed the lamb to be the fruit of a plant, sprouting forward from melon-like seeds. Others, however, believed the lamb to be a living member of the plant that, once separated from it, would perish. The vegetable lamb was believed to have blood, bones, and flesh like that of a normal lamb. It was connected to the earth by a stem, similar to an umbilical cord, that propped the lamb up above ground. The cord could flex downward, allowing the lamb to feed on the grass and plants surrounding it. Once the plants within reach were eaten, the lamb died. It could be eaten, once dead, and its blood supposedly tasted sweet like honey. Its wool was said to be used by the native people of its homeland to make head coverings and other articles of clothing. The only carnivorous animals attracted to the lamb-plant (other than humans) were wolves.

From the Arabs also Europeans adopted the under-garment now universally worn, the shirt, the Arabic name for which is camees, whence the Italian camiscia, and the French chemise.
Cotton manufacture was introduced to Europe during the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily. The knowledge of cotton weaving was spread to northern Italy in the 12th century, when Sicily was conquered by the Normans, and consequently to the rest of Europe. The spinning wheel, introduced to Europe circa 1350, improved the speed of cotton spinning. By the 15th century, Venice, Antwerp, and Haarlem were important ports for cotton trade, and the sale and transportation of cotton fabrics had become very profitable
中世後期に欧州では綿は輸入繊維として知られるようになりました。ただその由来は植物であること以外全く知られてはいませんでした。ヘロドトスが『歴史』第III巻106章に、インドでは木が自生して毛を生産していると書いていたことから低木ではなく樹木であると考えられていました。このことはドイツ語のBaumwolle(バウムウォレ)が「木の羊毛」と訳されるようにいくつかのゲルマン語の綿花の名前に残されている(Baumは「木」Wolleは「羊毛」)。ウールに似ていることから、この地域の人々は綿花は植物を媒介とする羊によって作られるに違いないと想像しました。1350年に書かれたジョン・マンデヴィル(John Mandeville)は、「インドに、枝先に小さな子羊を産む素晴らしい木が生えた」と述べています。この枝はとてもしなやかで子羊が空腹になると曲がって餌を与えることができる”と書いていました。
Early modern period
Mughal India
Under the Mughal Empire, which ruled in the Indian subcontinent from the early 16th century to the early 18th century, Indian cotton production increased, in terms of both raw cotton and cotton textiles. The Mughals introduced agrarian reforms such as a new revenue system that was biased in favour of higher value cash crops such as cotton and indigo, providing state incentives to grow cash crops, in addition to rising market demand.
The largest manufacturing industry in the Mughal Empire was cotton textile manufacturing, which included the production of piece goods, calicos, and muslins, available unbleached and in a variety of colours. The cotton textile industry was responsible for a large part of the empire’s international trade. India had a 25% share of the global textile trade in the early 18th century. Indian cotton textiles were the most important manufactured goods in world trade in the 18th century, consumed across the world from the Americas to Japan. The most important center of cotton production was the Bengal Subah province, particularly around its capital city of Dhaka.
The worm gear roller cotton gin, which was invented in India during the early Delhi Sultanate era of the 13th–14th centuries, came into use in the Mughal Empire some time around the 16th century, and is still used in India through to the present day. Another innovation, the incorporation of the crank handle in the cotton gin, first appeared in India some time during the late Delhi Sultanate or the early Mughal Empire.
The production of cotton, which may have largely been spun in the villages and then taken to towns in the form of yarn to be woven into cloth textiles, was advanced by the diffusion of the spinning wheel across India shortly before the Mughal era, lowering the costs of yarn and helping to increase demand for cotton. The diffusion of the spinning wheel, and the incorporation of the worm gear and crank handle into the roller cotton gin, led to greatly expanded Indian cotton textile production during the Mughal era.
It was reported that, with an Indian cotton gin, which is half machine and half tool, one man and one woman could clean 28 pounds of cotton per day. With a modified Forbes version, one man and a boy could produce 250 pounds per day. If oxen were used to power 16 of these machines, and a few people’s labour was used to feed them, they could produce as much work as 750 people did formerly
In 1819, a Frenchman named M. Jumel proposed to the ruler of Egypt, Mohamed Ali Pasha, that he could earn a substantial income by growing an extra-long staple Maho “Gossypium barbadense” cotton, in Lower Egypt, for the French market. Mohamed Ali Pasha accepted the proposition and granted himself the monopoly on the sale and export of cotton in Egypt; and later dictated cotton should be grown in preference to other crops.
In 1820, only three bales were harvested, but three years later, in 1823, production rose to 10,000 tonnes. From this time onwards, new seeds and improved cultivation methods were reviewed in search of further quality improvements.
Cultivation in the Giza region, now known as Giza cotton, dates back to 1827. Muhammad Ali imported Sea Island cotton and tried growing it in the Giza region, claiming that it produced the best quality ever seen. The cultivation of Giza cotton flourished, as the fertile soil and moderate humidity along the Nile River matched the conditions for growing fine cotton.
Muhammad Ali Pasha
Egypt under Muhammad Ali in the early 19th century had the fifth most productive cotton industry in the world, in terms of the number of spindles per capita. The industry was initially driven by machinery that relied on traditional energy sources, such as animal power, water wheels, and windmills, which were also the principal energy sources in Western Europe up until around 1870.[40] It was under Muhammad Ali in the early 19th century that steam engines were introduced to the Egyptian cotton industry.By the time of the American Civil war annual exports had reached $16 million (120,000 bales), which rose to $56 million by 1864, primarily due to the loss of the Confederate supply on the world market. Exports continued to grow even after the reintroduction of US cotton, produced now by a paid workforce, and Egyptian exports reached 1.2 million bales a year by 1903.

1819年フランス人のルイ・アレクシス・ジュメルは、エジプトの統治者モハメド・アリ・パシャに、フランス市場向けにエジプトで超長綿のマホ”Gossypium barbadense”を栽培すれば大きな収入が得られると提案しました。モハメド・アリ・パシャはこの提案を受け入れ、エジプトにおける綿花の販売と輸出を独占することを認め後に他の作物よりも綿花を優先して栽培するように指示しました。1820年には俵3つ分しか収穫できませんでしたが、3年後の1823年には生産量は10,000トンにまで上がりました。このころからさらなる品質改善を求めて、新しい種子や栽培方法の改善が見直されました。今の ギザコットンで知られるギザ地域での栽培は、1827年のことです。ムハンマド・アリが、海島綿を輸入しギザ地域で栽培を試したところ今までにない高品質な綿ができギザコットンの栽培を成功させました。ナイル川沿いの肥沃な土と適度な湿度が上質な綿花を育てる条件に一致ギザコットンの栽培が繁栄しました。これが現在のエジプト超長綿の代名詞になるGIZAのベースになります。

The English East India Company (EIC) introduced the British to cheap calico and chintz cloth on the restoration of the monarchy in the 1660s. Initially imported as a novelty side line, from its spice trading posts in Asia, the cheap colourful cloth proved popular and overtook the EIC’s spice trade by value in the late 17th century. The EIC embraced the demand, particularly for calico, by expanding its factories in Asia and producing and importing cloth in bulk, creating competition for domestic woollen and linen textile producers. The impacted weavers, spinners, dyers, shepherds and farmers objected and the calico question became one of the major issues of National politics between the 1680s and the 1730s. Parliament began to see a decline in domestic textile sales, and an increase in imported textiles from places like China and India.

Seeing the East India Company and their textile importation as a threat to domestic textile businesses, Parliament passed the 1700 Calico Act, blocking the importation of cotton cloth. As there was no punishment for continuing to sell cotton cloth, smuggling of the popular material became commonplace. In 1721, dissatisfied with the results of the first act, Parliament passed a stricter addition, this time prohibiting the sale of most cottons, imported and domestic (exempting only thread Fustian and raw cotton). The exemption of raw cotton from the prohibition initially saw 2 thousand bales of cotton imported annually, to become the basis of a new indigenous industry, initially producing Fustian for the domestic market, though more importantly triggering the development of a series of mechanised spinning and weaving technologies, to process the material. This mechanised production was concentrated in new cotton mills, which slowly expanded until by the beginning of the 1770s seven thousand bales of cotton were imported annually, and pressure was put on Parliament, by the new mill owners, to remove the prohibition on the production and sale of pure cotton cloth, as they could easily compete with anything the EIC could import.

What was the Calico Act?

■ Cotton grown in India and Egypt though, was used widely throughout the rest of the world.
■ British woolen manufacturers were very concerned about the excessive trading in cotton and were keen to maintain their dominant market share of cloth manufacture
■ The Calico Act was passed in 1721 forbidding the importation of Calico cotton cloth from India.
■ The political forces whose interests converged on cotton as the cheaper cloth helped get this act repealed by 1774.
■ During these 50 years the British cotton industry developed without foreign competition.

The Calico Act when it was passed in 1721, had important loopholes which exempted ‘fustians’ from prohibition. Fustians were coarse cotton cloths that looked like calicoes.

The acts were repealed in 1774, triggering a wave of investment in mill-based cotton spinning and production, doubling the demand for raw cotton within a couple of years, and doubling it again every decade, into the 1840s.Indian cotton textiles, particularly those from Bengal, continued to maintain a competitive advantage up until the 19th century. In order to compete with India, Britain invested in labour-saving technical progress, while implementing protectionist policies such as bans and tariffs to restrict Indian imports. At the same time, the East India Company’s rule in India contributed to its deindustrialization, opening up a new market for British goods, while the capital amassed from Bengal after its 1757 conquest was used to invest in British industries such as textile manufacturing and greatly increase British wealth. British colonization also forced open the large Indian market to British goods, which could be sold in India without tariffs or duties, compared to local Indian producers who were heavily taxed, while raw cotton was imported from India without tariffs to British factories which manufactured textiles from Indian cotton, giving Britain a monopoly over India’s large market and cotton resources.India served as both a significant supplier of raw goods to British manufacturers and a large captive market for British manufactured goods..

Britain eventually surpassed India as the world’s leading cotton textile manufacturer in the 19th century.India’s cotton-processing sector changed during EIC expansion in India in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. From focusing on supplying the British market to supplying East Asia with raw cotton. As the Artisan produced textiles were no longer competitive with those produced Industrially, and Europe preferring the cheaper slave produced, long staple American, and Egyptian cottons, for its own materials

Printing Calico
Avril Hart and Susan Norths’, ‘ Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Century ‘, London, V&A,


■ インドやエジプトで栽培された綿花は、世界各地で広く使われていた。
■ 英国の毛織物工場は綿花の過剰な取引に危機感を抱き布地製造における圧倒的なシェアを維持することを強く望んでいました。
■ 1721年インドからのキャラコ綿布の輸入を禁止する「キャラコ法」が制定されました。
■ 1721年にインドからキャラコ綿布の輸入を完全に禁止するキャラコ法が制定されました。
■ この50年間、イギリスの綿花産業は外国との競争にさらされることなく発展してきた。


キャリコ法は1774年に廃止され、工場での綿花紡績・生産への投資が相次ぎます。原綿の需要はわずか2~3年で倍増し、さらに 1840年代まで10年ごとに倍増していきました。その間に安価なインド製品に対抗するためイギリスは省力化のための技術進歩に投資する一方インドからの輸入を制限する禁止令や関税などの保護主義的政策を実施しました。一方東インド会社のインド支配はインドの脱工業化に貢献していき英国製品の新市場を開拓するとともに、1757年の征服後にベンガルから集められた資本が繊維製造などの英国産業への投資に使用され、英国の富を大幅に増大させていくことになります。インド綿を原料とする織物を製造するイギリスの工場にはインドから綿花が無関税で輸入され、イギリスはインドという大きな市場と綿花資源を独占することになりました。


Industrial Revolution
The advent of the Industrial Revolution in Britain provided a great boost to cotton manufacture, as textiles emerged as Britain’s leading export. In 1738, Lewis Paul and John Wyatt, of Birmingham, England, patented the roller spinning machine, as well as the flyer-and-bobbin system for drawing cotton to a more even thickness using two sets of rollers that traveled at different speeds. Later, the invention of the James Hargreaves’ spinning jenny in 1764, Richard Arkwright’s spinning frame in 1769 and Samuel Crompton’s spinning mule in 1775 enabled British spinners to produce cotton yarn at much higher rates. From the late 18th century on, the British city of Manchester acquired the nickname “Cottonopolis” due to the cotton industry’s omnipresence within the city, and Manchester’s role as the heart of the global cotton trade.
Sir Richard Arkwright is credited as the driving force behind the development of the spinning frame, known as the water frame after it was adapted to use water power

Production capacity in Britain and the United States was improved by the invention of the modern cotton gin by the American Eli Whitney in 1793. Before the development of cotton gins, the cotton fibers had to be pulled from the seeds tediously by hand. By the late 1700s, a number of crude ginning machines had been developed. However, to produce a bale of cotton required over 600 hours of human labor, making large-scale production uneconomical in the United States, even with the use of humans as slave labor. The gin that Whitney manufactured (the Holmes design) reduced the hours down to just a dozen or so per bale. Although Whitney patented his own design for a cotton gin, he manufactured a prior design from Henry Odgen Holmes, for which Holmes filed a patent in 1796.Improving technology and increasing control of world markets allowed British traders to develop a commercial chain in which raw cotton fibers were (at first) purchased from colonial plantations, processed into cotton cloth in the mills of Lancashire, and then exported on British ships to captive colonial markets in West Africa, India, and China (via Shanghai and Hong Kong).

Eli Whitney’s mechanical cotton gin revolutionized cotton production and expanded and strengthened slavery throughout the South. Eli Whitney’s Patent for the Cotton gin, March 14, 1794; Records of the Patent and Trademark Office
By the 1840s, India was no longer capable of supplying the vast quantities of cotton fibers needed by mechanized British factories, while shipping bulky, low-price cotton from India to Britain was time-consuming and expensive. This, coupled with the emergence of American cotton as a superior type (due to the longer, stronger fibers of the two domesticated native American species, Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense), encouraged British traders to purchase cotton from plantations in the United States and in the Caribbean. By the mid-19th century, “King Cotton” had become the backbone of the southern American economy. In the United States, cultivating and harvesting cotton became the leading occupation of slaves.
During the American Civil War, American cotton exports slumped due to a Union blockade on Southern ports, and because of a strategic decision by the Confederate government to cut exports, hoping to force Britain to recognize the Confederacy or enter the war. The Lancashire Cotton Famine prompted the main purchasers of cotton, Britain and France, to turn to Egyptian cotton. British and French traders invested heavily in cotton plantations. The Egyptian government of Viceroy Isma’il took out substantial loans from European bankers and stock exchanges. After the American Civil War ended in 1865, British and French traders abandoned Egyptian cotton and returned to cheap American exports,[citation needed] sending Egypt into a deficit spiral that led to the country declaring bankruptcy in 1876, a key factor behind Egypt’s occupation by the British Empire in 1882.
During this time, cotton cultivation in the British Empire, especially Australia and India, greatly increased to replace the lost production of the American South. Through tariffs and other restrictions, the British government discouraged the production of cotton cloth in India; rather, the raw fiber was sent to England for processing. The Indian Mahatma Gandhi described the process:
  1. English people buy Indian cotton in the field, picked by Indian labor at seven cents a day, through an optional monopoly.
  2. This cotton is shipped on British ships, a three-week journey across the Indian Ocean, down the Red Sea, across the Mediterranean, through Gibraltar, across the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean to London. One hundred per cent profit on this freight is regarded as small.
  3. The cotton is turned into cloth in Lancashire. You pay shilling wages instead of Indian pennies to your workers. The English worker not only has the advantage of better wages, but the steel companies of England get the profit of building the factories and machines. Wages; profits; all these are spent in England.
  4. The finished product is sent back to India at European shipping rates, once again on British ships. The captains, officers, sailors of these ships, whose wages must be paid, are English. The only Indians who profit are a few lascars who do the dirty work on the boats for a few cents a day.
  5. The cloth is finally sold back to the kings and landlords of India who got the money to buy this expensive cloth out of the poor peasants of India who worked at seven cents a day.[
1840年代には、インドは機械化されたイギリスの工場が必要とする大量の綿繊維を供給することができなくなり、またインドからイギリスへかさばる低価格の綿を輸送するには時間と費用がかかるようになった。また、インドからイギリスへの綿花の輸送には時間とコストがかかり、さらにアメリカ綿はアメリカ原産の”Gossypium hirsutum” と “Gossypium barbadense”の2種が栽培され、繊維が長く丈夫なため、イギリス商人はアメリカやカリブ海のプランテーションから綿花を購入するようになった。19世紀半ばには、「キングコットン」がアメリカ南部経済の基幹となったのである。アメリカでは、綿花の栽培と収穫が奴隷の主要な職業となった。

3. 綿花はランカシャーで綿布にされます。労働者には英国シリングの賃金を支払います。英国の労働者は賃金が良いだけでなく英国の鉄鋼会社は工場や機械を作成することで利益を得ています。賃金、利益、これらはすべて英国国内で消費されます。
4. 完成した製品は再び英国船でインドに送り返されます。この船の船長、士官、船員は英国人です。そこで利益を得るインド人は1日数セントで船上で汚れ仕事をする数人の下僕だけです。

United States
Native Americans were observed growing cotton by the Coronado expedition in 1540-1542. The Spaniards raised a cotton crop in Florida in 1556. As cotton is a labour-intensive crop and a cash crop with high economic value, the slave trade began in order to secure the labour required to grow it. and The American South prospered due to an economy. Cotton then became the main product of US agriculture. Cotton cultivation also nearly bankrupted the economies of people in many underdeveloped countries, such as Mali, as the US government subsidised trade policy, especially ‘corporate agribusiness’ (exposed to stiff competition from the US, workers could barely make ends meet to survive on cotton sales)
Early period
Eyre Crowe、Slaves Waiting for Sale、Richmond、Virginia、1861.
Cotton has been planted and cultured in the United States since before the American Revolution, especially in South Carolina. It expanded to the west very dramatically after 1800—all the way to Texas—thanks to the cotton gin. Plantation owners brought mass supplies of labor (slaves) from Africa and the Caribbean to hoe and harvest the crop.Prior to the U.S. Civil War, cotton production expanded from 750,000 bales in 1830 to 2.85 million bales in 1850. It was by far the nation’s main export, providing the basis for the rapidly growing cotton textile industry in Britain and France, as well as the Northeastern United States.
After the Civil War, cotton production expanded to small farms, operated by white and black tenant farmers and sharecroppers. The quantity exported held steady, at 3,000,000 bales, but prices on the world market fell. Although there was some work involved in planting the seeds, and cultivating or holding out the weeds, the critical labor input for cotton was in the picking. How much a cotton operation could produce depended on how many hands (men women and children) were available. Finally in the 1950s, new mechanical harvesters allowed a handful of workers to pick as much as 100 had done before. The result was a large-scale exodus of the white and black cotton farmers from the south. By the 1970s, most cotton was grown in large automated farms in the Southwest.
Levi Strauss, as a young man in 1851, went from Germany to New York to join his older brothers who ran a goods store. In 1853, he moved to San Francisco to open his own dry goods business. Jacob Davis was a tailor who often bought bolts of cloth from the Levi Strauss & Co. wholesale house. In 1872, Davis wrote to Strauss asking to partner with him to patent and sell clothing reinforced with rivets. The copper rivets were to reinforce the points of stress, such as pocket corners and at the bottom of the button fly. Strauss accepted Davis’s offer, and the two men received US patent No. 139,121 for an “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings” on May 20, 1873. Davis and Strauss experimented with different fabrics. An early attempt was brown cotton duck, a bottom-weight fabric. Finding denim a more suitable material for work-pants, they began using it to manufacture their riveted pants. The denim used was produced by an American manufacturer. Popular legend incorrectly states that it was imported from Nimes, France. A popular myth is that Strauss initially sold brown canvas pants to miners, later dyed them blue, turned to using denim, and only after Davis wrote to him, added rivets. Initially, Strauss’s jeans were simply sturdy trousers worn by factory workers, miners, farmers, and cattlemen throughout the North American West. During this period, men’s jeans had the fly down the front, whereas women’s jeans had the fly down the left side. When Levi Strauss & Co. patented the modern, mass-produced prototype in the year 1873, there were two pockets in the front and one on the back right with copper rivets. The small riveted watch pocket was first added by Levi Strauss to their jeans in the late 1870s
1873 Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans
20th century
The United States, observed in 1940 that “many thousands of black cotton farmers each year now go to the polls, stand in line with their white neighbors, and mark their ballots independently without protest or intimidation, in order to determine government policy toward cotton production control.” However, discrimination towards blacks continued as it did in the rest of society, and isolated incidents often broke out. On September 25, 1961, Herbert Lee, a black cotton farmer and voter-registration organizer, was shot in the head and killed by white state legislator E. H. Hurst in Liberty, Mississippi. Yet the cotton industry continued to be very important for blacks in the southern United States, much more so than for whites. By the late 1920s around two-thirds of all African-American tenants and almost three-fourths of the croppers worked on cotton farms.Three out of four black farm operators earned at least 40% of their income from cotton farming during this period. Studies conducted during the same period indicated that two in three black women from black landowning families were involved in cotton farming.
The introduction of modern textile machinery such as the spinning jenny, power loom, and cotton gin brought in more profits, and “cotton towns” (settlements which formed an economy based on the cotton trade) sprung up throughout the U.S. Following the Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the United States, the boll weevil, a pest from Mexico, began to spread across the United States, affecting yields drastically as it moved east. The fashion cloth of the blue jeans furthered boom of cotton for three decades. Adoption of chemical pesticides to reduce diseases and thus increase yield of the crop further boosted production. Further innovations in the form of genetic engineering and of nanotechnology are an encouraging development for the growth of cotton.
United States map of the Black American population from 1900 U.S. Census
The average production of lint per acre in 1914 was estimated by the United States Department of Agriculture to be 209 pounds, a nominal change from 1911 when it was 208 pounds. In the early 1910s, the average yield per acre varied between states: North Carolina (290 pounds), Missouri (279 pounds), South Carolina (255 pounds), Georgia (239 pounds); the yield in California (500 pounds) was attributed to growth on irrigated land. By 1929, the cotton ranches of California were the largest in the US (by acreage, production, and number of employees). By the 1950s, after many years of development, the mechanical cotton picker had become effective enough to be commercially viable, and it quickly gained appeal and affordability throughout the U.S. cotton growing area. 

The cotton industry in the United States hit a crisis in the early 1920s. Cotton and tobacco prices collapsed in 1920 following overproduction and the boll weevil pest wiped out the sea island cotton crop in 1921. Annual production slumped from 1,365,000 bales in the 1910s to 801,000 in the 1920s. In South Carolina, Williamsburg County production fell from 37,000 bales in 1920 to 2,700 bales in 1922 and one farmer in McCormick County produced 65 bales in 1921 and just 6 in 1922. As a result of the devastating harvest of 1922, some 50,000 black cotton workers left South Carolina, and by the 1930s the state population had declined some 15%, largely due to cotton stagnation. Although the industry was badly affected by falling prices and pests in the early 1920s, the main reason is undoubtedly the mechanization of agriculture in explaining why many blacks moved to northern American cities in the 1940s and 1950s during the “Great Migration” as mechanization of agriculture was introduced, leaving many unemployed.


The world's best cotton has disappeared

The muslin fabric featured in Marie-Antoinette’s portraits. The sheer, transparent fabric fascinated European aristocrats. And the lost world best beautiful fabric “Dhaka Muslin” from Mughal Empire (Now Bangladesh) , They can no longer be reproduced. The craftsmen who made the delicate fabric had their fingers chopped off by the British man.
April – 2023  20 MINS READ
– References –
スクリーンショット 2023-03-14 20.55.57
Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
スクリーンショット 2023-03-14 21.10.22
英国産業革命史 / Lectures of the Industrial Revolution in england
Arnold Toynbee / 日本語版有り
スクリーンショット 2023-03-14 20.58.36
エリック・オルセナ (著), 吉田 恒雄 (翻訳)